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China accused of defying its own ban on breeding tigers to profit from body parts

 


THE GUARDIAN
Nick Davies and Oliver Holmes
Tuesday 27 September 2016

Beijing faces pressure at global summit to close 200 farms where tigers are bred for luxury goods and end its obstructive tactics

China has been accused of deceiving the international community by allowing a network of farms to breed thousands of captive tigers for the sale of their body parts, in breach of their own longstanding ban on the trade.

The Chinese government has allowed about 200 specialist farms to hold an estimated 6,000 tigers for slaughter, before their skins are sold as decoration and their bones are marinated to produce tonics and lotions. Campaigners say this has increased demand for the products and provoked the poaching of thousands of wild tigers, whose global population is now down to just 3,500.

China is expected to come under pressure at this week’s Johannesburg conference of nations who have signed the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites). The Guardian has found that Chinese delegates have tried to obstruct debate at the conference by rewriting a critical report and questioning the wording of a key decision.

The Chinese say their domestic market is nobody else’s business since Cites covers only international trade. They also point out that by breeding 6,000 tigers in captivity they have significantly increased the population of the species, and question why western countries should be allowed to breed cattle and pigs for their own markets if they are to be criticised for doing so with tigers.
 


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